Getting your exercise for the day can be tough. Finding the time, not to mention the energy, can be a heck of an uphill battle, and this goes double if you have kids or a demanding job. Luckily, there are a number of things that you can do in order to ensure that you get at least a good, solid five minutes of exercise in every single day.
Here are a few ideas to maximize the burn in a limited amount of time:
Five minutes of exercise in the afternoon, when you’re already tired, can be a tremendous chore. Five minutes of exercise in the morning, just before breakfast, can be very easy to squeeze in.
In order to ensure that you’re able to snap into your morning routine, make sure to get plenty of sleep. The body sleeps in three hour cycles, so if you can’t get a full eight hours, go for six. By exercising in the morning, you can kickstart your body so that you’ll have more energy during the day.
Get through five minutes worth of exercise in five minutes. Don’t try to compress a thirty, forty minute workout into five minutes. If you try to rush, then at best you’re going to be doing your routine without full effort, and at worst you’re going to seriously injure yourself. Intensity is key, irresponsibility is dangerous.
The average adult should drink about a gallon of water a day. This will keep you energized so that you can snap right into your five minutes of exercise whenever you feel like it.
More Weight, Fewer Reps
Do you really want to sit there and lift a ten pound weight for thirty minutes? Try going with the heaviest weights that you can comfortably lift, and doing two sets of 8-12 reps each. This is how Bruce Lee exercised, typically strength-training for fewer than 20 minutes every day, and his physique was incredible. More intense exercise allows you to get a lot done in just a few minutes.
Do it When You Like
Working out in the morning can be a great idea, but doing your exercises here and there, when you can, can make the process very easy for busy people. You might not always be able to find five minutes to do push-ups or sit-ups, but how hard is it to find thirty seconds or a single minute to do a few pull-ups, or some basic stretches and exercises that you can do right at your desk?
Don’t Forget to Stretch
Stretch, and stay stretched, throughout the day. Even a five minute workout can lead to serious injury if you don’t go into it with a limber body. There are a ton of easy stretches that you can do.
Try twisting at the waist in your chair to stretch your back muscles, do cat stretches in the morning, touch your toes and try to touch your elbows together whenever you get a free moment, etc.
You typically want to do some light warm-ups before stretching if you’re at the gym, but assuming that you move around during the day, that you don’t just park in a chair for eight hours straight, you should be able to stretch whenever you feel like it as long as you take your time and are careful not to overextend anything.
Keep Developing Your Routine
There’s no one, set five minute routine that works perfectly for everyone. The exercises that you do will depend on your fitness goals, your age, your body type and so on. If you have a leg injury, for instance, you’re not going to be doing a minute of sprinting in the parking lot on the way into the office.
Take the time to study exercises that you can do in short bursts, and keep developing your routine over time, changing it as you find methods that work better.
Some Basic Exercises
To get you started, here are a few exercises that you can do in a short amount of time:
1) Self-resistance: If you don’t have any weights handy, press your palms together and slowly extend your arms in front of you, pushing your hands against one another with all your strength. Then pull your hands back in. This achieves similar effect to a push-up, but can be done in seconds at your desk.
2) Squats: You can do these anywhere – while standing in line, while getting dressed, etc. Just squat down as far as you comfortably can, and stand back up, keeping your feet flat.
3) Deep breathing: Breathe from your stomach, not your chest, and then expel every bit of air you can. This will lend you more energy throughout your routine.
Keep exploring and playing with new exercises and you’ll be able to get your five minute routine down in no time.
How do you squeeze in short time periods of exercise? What’s been the effect on your life?